1999 | ESPN
This comprehensive retrospective of the people and events that shaped the face of sport in North America over the past 100 years is the first Peabody Award for ESPN and its sister sports networks. The bedrock of this substantial effort was the production of new half-hour documentaries on each of the “50 Greatest Athletes” of the past century. While the names and rankings on the list will be debated by historians and sports fans for years, there is no disputing the overall excellence of the series. Expertly hosted and narrated by Dan Patrick, the programs relied on extensive research and insightful interviews to provide new details about the life and times of such diverse athletic talents as Muhammad Ali, Martina Navratilova and Man O’ War. Additional elements of the ESPN SportsCentury effort included more than 1,000 one-minute Classic Moments from a century of sport, six two-hour SportsCenter of the Decade programs, three two-hour specials on The Greatest Games, The Most Influential People and The Greatest Coaches, plus a 90-minute special on The Greatest Dynasties of the 20th century. Special recognition for this exceptional commitment to innovative, original and important historical programming goes to ESPN chairman and CEO and ABC sports president Steve Bornstein, ESPN president George Bodenheimer, Howard Katz, ESPN executive vice president, production, Dick Glover, executive vice president, programming, senior vice president and executive editor John A. Walsh, and coordinating producer Mark Shapiro. For overall excellence in sports broadcasting, a Peabody is presented to ESPN for SportsCentury.